- Over time, various forces have worked to shape the way Wiki pages are typically laid out. Different people attribute greater and lesser importance to various forces of course and there is variation from page to page in what is important. As a result, each page has its own unique feel. There is, however, a general pattern that seems to get followed with some regularity. Here is a variation on that pattern that was popular in April of the year 2003, along with brief descriptions of the forces that shaped it:
- DocumentMode payload High density, accessible information, first thing that is seen. See OpeningStatement, DoubleLines, WikiConversation
- Backlink in italics to set it off from the main body. If the page needs context in order to be fully comprehensible.
- Main body a few concise paragraphs often in PatternForm using GoodStyle. The thesis of the page sometimes along with its antithesis. See ThereforeBut, ThesisAntithesisSynthesis, and of course PatternForms for different ways to format this.
- DoubleLines Clearly separate the payload from the meta-data below. Not often used.
- ThreadMode discussion and meta-data Conversation inspired by the page's topic. A source of inspiration for improvements to the payload and a spawning ground for new pages. Often needs clean up in order to be readable. What that means is the subject of much heated debate. See ThreadModeCorrected, GoodTasteInDeletion, DeletionDiscussion et al...
- Discussion Introduces thread mode. Not always used
- Discussion sub-sections Infrequently used. Divide the conversation into identifiable sections. Otherwise just free-form.
- Horizontal line, section topic In bold. Defines the subtopic for the section.
- ThreadMode A sequence of signed and unsigned contributions that make up a conversation. Can be hard to follow unless some convention (like signatures) is used to distinguish the contributors.
- Horizontal line, SeeAlso Denoted by "See" or "See also", pages that are directly related to the subject. Usually just above the categories at the bottom of the page, but sometimes directly follows related discussion.
- Horizontal line, WikiCategories Links to categories to which the page belongs. Easy to find because it's all the way at the bottom. Not at the top because it's orthogonal to the topic.
A lot of people consider Category
Topics to be low in signal. Some would like to be rid of them entirely. By convention, they are put at the bottom of the page.
As far as I can tell, this convention goes back to their invention. See
Also is usually found at the bottom as well, while "from" are usually at the top since they provide needed context. There are other labels that I'd be tempted to put at the top of the page: ProtoPattern
, for instance, to indicate that what follows is an invented solution written up in pattern form. I'm in the "categories are low signal" crowd. Categories are useful mostly because of ReverseLinkEnabled
. The fact that you can navigate from one page to others like it by clicking on its category and then clicking on the title of the category page more than justifies the WikiBadge
at the bottom of the page. -- PhilGoodwin
[later] Oh. Wait, I get it. Double lines constitute a "bottom" for the signal don't they. So putting something at the "bottom" of a page is slightly ambiguous. Okay, categories go at the bottom of the bottom. But "See also" seem to go at the bottom of the top. -- pg
The page begins with this Logo (Originated by WardCunningham
- see MoreAboutTheLogo
Wiki pages take several forms depending on what they try to present.
Most pages have an introductory paragraph which is composed at the page's introduction and is generally retained at that position to preserve the history of the page. It is sometimes signed by the introducer with HomePage
Pages describing patterns are usually based on one of these templates:
Pages which consist of questions and answers are written in FaqMode
Pages containing dialogue also have an alternating form where different unsigned contributors alternate between different cases (normal, italic, bold, etc). See DialogMode
Sometimes the dialogue is refactored into sections in which a subtopic is identified by Emphasizing by Bold Characters
on the first line of the subsection. For an example, see ItDepends
subsections appear on many pages, referring to related pages. If it's important that some related page links are seen by readers before they have read the page (in particular, if the related pages are alternatives
to the current page such as translations), then a SeeAlso
subsection would ideally appear just below a short opening page summary. In most cases, though, a SeeAlso
subsection appears near the bottom of a page. See below for an example.
A category subsection appears on many pages, as the last editable element of a page. See below for an example.
The final section which is presented on each page by the WikiEngine
EditText of this page (last edited date)
FindPage by searching
Hyperlinks in this final section:
- -- edit text icon (16 by 16 px) -- click to edit the page
- EditText -- click to edit the page
- date -- not a typical link; presents the differences between the current and previous versions of the page
- FindPage -- click to search the wiki